Cambrian: Slice of Life

Father's Day and graduation in Cambria provide reasons to reflect

The columnist's high school senior photo, taken when she attended Cody High School in Cody, Wyo.
The columnist's high school senior photo, taken when she attended Cody High School in Cody, Wyo.

Today is yet another TBT, a text-speak acronym that translates into “Throwback Thursday. ” For those of you who post or lurk on Facebook or Twitter, you know that means people posting pictures from their personal past or from long ago in the public domain.

Since this TBT falls in the middle of June, the nostalgia surges and sharing urges get stronger, as we wade our way through weddings, graduations and Father’s Days.

Those events also can trigger other kinds of emotions.

After my boss/editor Steve Provost attended and covered his first set of Cambria graduations June 10 and 11 at Leffingwell and Coast Union high schools, the Fresno-born-and-raised fella posted on Facebook that “Watching Coast Union’s graduation ceremony today made me slightly envious of those who attend small high schools. Lots of mutual support, empathy and class (not to mention a bunch of very articulate seniors). Congratulations to the Class of 2015!”

Then he posted his college graduation picture. 

Not to be outdone, I posted my senior photo.

Fortunately, lots of our Facebook friends had nice things to say about the pictures, even saying kindly that I hadn’t changed (with their fingers firmly crossed behind their backs, which is an interesting position for working at a computer keyboard). 

Lessons from fathers

Another “throwback” day is Father’s Day, even though it falls on Sunday. It’s when we celebrate all the good things we’ve learned from the men in our lives. 

Throughout my life, however, that day has triggered a full range of sentiments, from hurt and resentment 

(because for about a dozen of my childhood years after my parents divorced, I had no idea where my musician father was), to confusion (when my mom married my stepdad after knowing him for a whole 10 days) to all those wonderful Father’s Day feelings you’re supposed to have … courtesy of Husband Richard … Gratitude, love, laughter, great memories and shared experiences.

He’s my Patient Husband 2015.

Consider my faults: I’m an erratic housekeeper, a jacket junkie, a champion-level procrastinator, terrible at math or making decisions and an inveterate collector (mind you, not a hoarder. Really I’m not).

In a conversation or a car, I ramble and wander, then make sudden stops and turns. 

I file paperwork in boxes by archaeological strata. Musically, I’m a human jukebox, devoted to country, classical and lots in between. I hog the closet and the sheets. I still buy groceries the way I did when we were in the catering business. Ergo, we could feed half of Cambria for a week.

Richard says he loves me anyway. 

Never any complaints

Given his upbringing, he could easily be a meat-and-potatoes man who expects meals delivered to his table promptly at 7 a.m., noon:30 and 7:15 p.m. Over-easy and bacon for the first, a sandwich and chips for the second, and steak-and-baked for dinner.

Well, no. We’re just as apt to have fried rice or soup for breakfast and baked-apple oatmeal or waffles for dinner. This makes his cardiologist much happier, but drives most of his Utah family wild.

When we eat is dictated as much by the constraints of my wildly unpredictable schedule as by the traditional culinary clock. I’m a reporter, after all, and we never know where I’m going to be, when or for how long.

Does Husband Richard complain? Not once. He says observing, listening to my recounting and, occasionally, riding along is what keeps him young. Despite the lingering effects of his stroke, he’s there, if he can be. If not, he’s there in spirit, always, always cheering me on.

And when I give up on a project two hours (days, weeks, years) later, he never nags me about the half-finished needlepoint, the cheesecake batter in the fridge or the bag of turquoise beads that’s been in the closet forever.

If I’m in the mood to drop everything and go staycation sightseeing, he’s ready and willing whenever he’s able. “Let’s go,” he says with a smile, his camera and one of his trademark hats.

So for me, with such a wonderful, Patient Husband, every day is a happy TBT, even Sunday. 

And Happy Father’s Day to all the men who serve as positive-influence male role models for our young people.